Victoria Tackles the Snowdonia Marathon
Go Ape near Thetford are very kindly supporting us throughout the year with a variety of fundraising activities and challenges. As part of this, Site Manager Victoria recently took on the challenge of the Snowdonia Marathon. Here she shares her story:
"The Snowdonia Trail Marathon is considered to be one of the toughest - with 5,621 feet of total elevation gain, across 26.2 miles, on some of the roughest terrain that the Welsh mountains have to offer, most said I was mad to even attempt it. But, attempt it I did! On Sunday 15th July, at 9am, amongst a field of almost 700 runners, I was off. The sun was shining down on us all as we passed through the cheering crowds of Llanberris. (Cow bells had been on sale before-hand so it was like being in our very own stage of the Tour de France!) It didn’t take long for the procession of runners to stretch out as we began the ascent into the mountains, the views were so breathtaking that 18 miles ticked along nicely. Then it appeared. Mount Snowdon.
"It’s steep, rocky, windy and seemingly, never ending. My legs were on fire. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one suffering though. The most memorable thing I will take away from this experience, is the feeling of being included, I think it’s called ‘Community Spirit’. This is something that I know is so important to The Benjamin Foundation, and is what kept me going when I thought my legs were going to give out. Yes, it was a race, which by its title suggests that everyone is out for themselves and their own personal best, but, to put yourself through such physical hardship with so many other people, really is enlightening.
"The downhill section was almost as hard as the uphill. By this point, mile 23, my legs were wobblier than jelly and on the verge of hip to toe cramp, but with words of encouragement from the others on the trail, I couldn’t stop. I flew. Or at least, it felt like I did. I may have looked more like a grimacing Bambi, but in my head, I was Wonder Woman. Then I saw it – the finish line. People I’d never seen before were cheering me on, shouting my name, telling me I could do it. Small children lined the way, holding their hands out for high fives and I obliged with the biggest grin on my face!
It’s now 3 days later, my muscles haven’t quite forgiven me yet, but already I’m excited for my next challenge and to feel that same sense of achievement again."
Thank you so much to Victoria for completing this amazing feat to support us! If you would like to sponsor her, please visit her fundraising page.